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6-Cylinder Engine Oxygen Sensor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

6-Cylinder Engine Oxygen Sensor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

****

Tools:

Oxygen sensor socket, 22mm wrench, flathead screwdriver, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)

Parts Required:

Oxygen sensors, anti-seize paste

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool exhaust

Performance Gain:

Remedy fault codes and maintain proper running engine

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

Oxygen sensors monitor the exhaust stream, comparing the oxygen content in it to the oxygen content of ambient air. When oxygen content is low, sensor voltage is high. When oxygen content is high, sensor voltage is low. The voltage created by the sensor is sent to the DME (engine control module) to help maintain a proper fuel mixture. The mixture preparation is used to keep the catalytic converters running at peak efficiency. The oxygen sensors used in E60 models covered in this article has four wires. Two of which are for oxygen sensor heating and two for the signal. The heater is used to get the sensor online faster. Previously, exhaust heat was used. One wire supplied a ground to the sensor for the signal, and the other was for the sensor signal.

Oxygen sensors should be replaced every 100,000 miles. In a perfect world that would be it. Wait until a specified mileage and replace the sensor. However, these sensors fail prematurely, set oxygen sensor fault codes and reduce fuel economy. In this article, I will show you how to identify the location of all four oxygen sensors and how to replace them. You will need an oxygen sensor socket to remove the sensors and remember to always work with a cool exhaust. Oxygen sensors are fragile. Do not drop, as damage may occur. Also, keep the sensor tip clean when reinstalling.

Oxygen sensors are laid out in banks, which refer to cylinders and in sensor numbers referring to before or after the catalytic converter. Bank1 or B1 refers to cylinders 1-3. Bank 2 or B2 refers to cylinders 4-6. Sensor 1 or S1 refers to the sensor before the catalytic converter. Sensor 2 or S2 refers to the sensor after the catalytic converter.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Bank 1 Sensor 1is indicated by a yellow arrow.
Figure 1

Bank 1 Sensor 1 is indicated by a yellow arrow. Bank 2 Sensor 1 is pointed out with a green arrow.

Bank 1 Sensor 2 has a green arrow.
Figure 2

Bank 1 Sensor 2 has a green arrow. Bank 2 Sensor 2 is shown with a yellow arrow.

Replacing sensors before catalytic converter: Oxygen sensors are located in the exhaust manifold.
Figure 3

Replacing sensors before catalytic converter: Oxygen sensors are located in the exhaust manifold. Remove the engine covers. See our tech article on engine covers removing. Locate the oxygen sensor electrical connectors at the right side of the engine above the exhaust manifold. Label or mark the wiring harness to aide during reinstallation. I suggest replacing one sensor at a time so you do not mix up connectors. Using an oxygen sensor socket, loosen the oxygen sensor connection to the exhaust manifold. Do not unscrew yet.

Replacing sensors before catalytic converter: Pull the wiring harness out of the mounts (green arrows) along the valve cover.
Figure 4

Replacing sensors before catalytic converter: Pull the wiring harness out of the mounts (green arrows) along the valve cover. Bank 1 sensor 1 shown, bank 2 sensor 1 is similar.

Replacing sensors before catalytic converter: Next, disconnect the electrical connector of the oxygen sensor you are replacing (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

Replacing sensors before catalytic converter: Next, disconnect the electrical connector of the oxygen sensor you are replacing (yellow arrow). First, remove the electrical connector from the mounting bracket (green arrow) by pulling straight up. Once out, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it apart. Note the wiring harness color and the factory sensors color code sensors to help when replacing. Locate the color of the sensor you loosened. Using an oxygen sensor socket, remove the oxygen sensor from the exhaust manifold. Lightly coat the new oxygen sensor thread with anti-seize compound. Install the new oxygen sensor and tighten to 50Nm (37 ft-lb). Then reroute the wiring harness and connect the electrical connector. Repeat if replacing both sensors. Then reassemble the engine covers and clear any engine fault codes using a BMW scan tool.

Replacing sensors after catalytic converter: Oxygen sensors are located in the exhaust, behind the catalytic converters.
Figure 6

Replacing sensors after catalytic converter: Oxygen sensors are located in the exhaust, behind the catalytic converters. Working below the transmission, remove the transmission splash shield. See our tech article on lower splash shield replacing. Using an oxygen sensor socket, remove the oxygen sensor connection to the exhaust manifold. When reinstalling the sensor, do not allow the harness to remain twisted (green arrow). Be sure it is properly routed and tension free.

Replacing sensors after catalytic converter: Next, disconnect the electrical connector of the oxygen sensor you are replacing.
Figure 7

Replacing sensors after catalytic converter: Next, disconnect the electrical connector of the oxygen sensor you are replacing. First, remove the electrical connector from the mounting bracket (green arrow) by pulling it straight out toward the left side of the engine. Once out, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release and pulling it apart (inset). Note the wiring harness color, factory sensors color code sensors to help when replacing. Locate the color of the sensor you loosened. Using an oxygen sensor socket, remove the oxygen sensor from the exhaust manifold. Lightly coat the new oxygen sensor thread with anti-seize compound. Install the new oxygen sensor and tighten it to 50Nm (37 ft-lb).

Then reroute the wiring harness and connect the electrical connector.
Figure 8

Then reroute the wiring harness and connect the electrical connector. Repeat if replacing both sensors. Then reassemble the engine covers and clear any engine fault codes using a BMW scan tool.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Mentos Comments: How much space is above sensors after catalytic? I want to plug emulators, and they need extra space above - about 5 cm 2 inch. when it's straight version. Will I fit it there because pic nr 6 and 7 don't give me straight answer?
October 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have never measured it. I have no experience with emulators or defeating cat monitoring.. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
donnyriz Comments: I have difficulty with the rear pre-cat sensor on a 2006 e60 n52. There is a metal frame, that the wiring harnesses sit on, and the opening of the frame is just big enough for the 02 sensor wire to come through. but I have no way to get an O2 socket into the space. I guess I could cut the old wire off, but I am not sure how I would be able to torque the new one in? Do I have to go under the car? Thanks
October 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try working from below, using an O2 socket crow foot style. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Obeidat Comments: Please I can not find type of my car here which 525i 6cylinder??!!
August 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
andy Comments: Im owner of E60 530i and would like to know whether the bad Post Oxygen Sensor affect car performance? Thanks.
August 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. but - Usually an O2 sensor code will set before a catalyst code. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bimmer_zombie Comments: OUTSTANDING step by step O2 replacement pictures and explanation. It really help me to EASILY replace all 4 sensors in my 2004 BMW 530i.
Thank you guys.
July 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
akbar Comments: hi how are nick my question does the same procedure go for the bmw 550i n62 engine as well or u have a different location because i'm the code p2626 which says bank 1 sensor 1...but it was just change a few months ago so do u think the problem can be a faulty sensor or wrong sensor replaced......thank you very much
May 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The procedure would be similar. Could be a faulty sensor, or contamination killing the sensor, wiring, etc. Many things. First check the sensor signal to the DME. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Robert Comments: Can you clear the engine light without a scan tool after performing oxygen sensor replacement?
January 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jay Comments: What could cause my 2008 BMW 535i to shake on cold mornings?
January 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the check engine light on? Sounds like an engine misfire. I would check spark, fuel and compression on all cylinders. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gus Comments: my BMW 535xi is, the photo samples, is not equal to the location of the oxygen sensor of my bmw 08
September 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is this a US model? The article may not apply to your model.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
kwazi Comments: could you guys do one on the twin turbo version? i believe the whole exhaust system needs to be dropped before you can switch out the bank 2 sensor
September 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:24:05 AM